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February 22, 2019

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Mark Shunock, formerly of ‘Rock of Ages,’ talks new job at Wynn Las Vegas

‘Rock of Ages’ Second Anniversary

Denise Truscello / WireImage /

Mark Shunock celebrates the second anniversary of “Rock of Ages” on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in the Venetian.

Click to enlarge photo

The opening of Intrigue on April 28, 2016, is revealed on the final industry night of Tryst Nightclub on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, at Wynn Las Vegas. Tryst closed Saturday after a decade to make way for Intrigue.

Mark Shunock, Troy Burgess of ‘Rock of Ages’

Rock of Ages co-star Mark Shunock applies several fake tattoos while getting ready for the show at the Venetian Theatre on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Launch slideshow »

Actor Mark Shunock, who has spent the last three years here starring in “Rock of Ages,” first at the Venetian before the musical’s move to the Rio, has been named creative director for Intrigue, the new nightclub that opens April 28 in the former space of Tryst at Wynn Las Vegas.

Our first interview about his new nightlife role was posted Feb. 4. Mark will be responsible for curating an eclectic mix of entertainment forms to create a vibrant nightlife scene at the innovative nightclub.

“I come from a theater background, and to be in a position to draw upon my past experiences to help create unique entertainment is an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.

Here is our full interview:

What have you created for this new project now that you’re away from “Rock of Ages”?

I’m going to be working with about 25 performers at my own entertainment company, and we’re in charge of all the entertainment elements for the new nightclub Intrigue opening April 28.

It allows me to make myself available to other acting opportunities because that’s what it’s about really for me. I’m an actor with a producing head. It’s been an amazing three years; it’s been awesome. “Rock of Ages” has given me so much, and I’m so grateful — but it’s time. I mean three years doing the same thing every night.

It’s bittersweet because I was on the fence whether or not I wanted to accept the six-month extension they offered me to my current contract. I went back and forth, and there were a lot of factors that came into play when making the decision to leave.

But, at the end of the day, I wanted to make sure I was going out on a high note with some cool opportunities ahead, and there are some cool opportunities coming up. I want to make myself available, and I am not leaving Las Vegas, that’s for sure.

I’ve got a couple of big philanthropy things that I want to tackle, make sure “Mondays Dark” gets to the next level and keep growing that brand. I’m very proud of the work that I did outside “Rock of Ages.” “Rock of Ages” is no walk in the park, performing every night is a challenge, but since we started “Mondays Dark,” we’ve cleared $250,000, and I’m very proud of that.

Your Intrigue cast of 25 is comprised of whom?

There are going to be about 15 to 20 female performers. Everything from Cirque du Soleil-based to dancers. There will be singing elements, then I’ll have two stage managers and various choreographers throughout the year. These will be performance elements to create very unique, specific experience in a nightclub.

It’s already been a life-changing experience working with these guys and (Wynn Las Vegas COO) Sean (Christie), obviously. I went through a pretty elaborate interview process with their whole team. I put together a proposal, brought in performers, and it’s just been an unbelievable experience.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have my little company that I’m starting have its first contract be with the biggest dog in town. I’m just sort of taking the lead on it, and they’re excited to have my creative energy in their room.

I have aerialists, actors, singers, dancers, and we’re going to create an experience that begins around 11:30 p.m. and end around 3 a.m. It’s not going to be ongoing, but there will be something that just sort of makes you tilt your head.

If I’m successful, you’ll say to yourself, “Did that person show up like this, or did he get paid to be here?” Because they’re investing heavily in the atmosphere, the vibe, the look and the feel; it’s very exclusive, it’s very high class, it’s very upscale.

There’s only going to be 1,000 bodies in the private club within the club. We just want the whole experience from the minute you come around the corner to the minute you come down the stairs to when you enter the room, that it’s just something that you’ve never experienced before.

What’s great about it is that it will constantly be changing. If you come in October and you come back in November, it’s completely different. We’re going to be constantly reinventing the atmosphere and the vibe of the club. So one night you walk in and it will feel like you’re in the forest; the next month, you walk in, and you’ll feel like you’re in Brooklyn.

Every four to six weeks, I’m going to change the scene. Even to the point where I’m going to get down to the detail where you come down the stairs and you smell something. We’ll have machines installed with scents where the smell will bring you to a place where you didn’t think you could go to.

I feel very lucky and fortunate that they saw what I could bring to the table is exactly what they wanted to do. Again, I think it goes back to “Mondays Dark,” to the work that I did outside “Rock of Ages.”

It was my platform to really establish myself. I don’t think this opportunity would have presented itself to me in any other city. Las Vegas in unique in the sense that we live in the entertainment capital, and you’ve got to have fun.

You’ve got to remember that what you want to do every day is work, but it should be fun, and you have to make sure people have a great time. If we accomplish that, then we’re going to be successful in all areas. I’m looking forward to it.

* * *

Check back later for our Q+A with new Wynn Las Vegas COO Sean Christie, who talks at length about Intrigue.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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